Risk management for retail – how cloud POS software can help

Recently the Vend team encountered a power outage at an expo in Sydney, Australia. While every other booth ground to a halt, Vend charged on. With our offline functionality and browser-based software, Vend web-based & iPad POS software can go anywhere a tablet can.

If you squint, you can see us working in the dark…

risk management with vend

This week one of our customers had a similar experience. Find out how the clever folks at Oddyssea used cloud software to mitigate risk, and never missed a beat.

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Guest post by Mike Harding of Oddyssea

Imagine that you operate a business and something outside your control happens. Say, a power transformer blows resulting in emergency response and an extended, unplanned power outage.

What do you do? Can your business continue to operate?

When we were putting Oddyssea together, we thought about risk management and made infrastructure selections that we hoped would prove resilient in a time of need. Well, that time of need played out yesterday (remember our “what if a transformer blows” scenario?) and we were able to continue our business operations; albeit, without lights

Lucky for us we had a built-in contingency plan. Three fundamental choices we made when we set up the business enabled our resilience.

  • The first was our store operating system from Vend. This is “cloud” or “software-as-a-service” point of sale software that is available for use as long as you have Vend open in a browser. It works online and offline.
  • The second was the selection of a payment system from a processor called Square. This combination enabled us to continue accepting credit cards as long as we had access to the network.
  • The final choice was in hosting both Square and Vend on an iPad with access to wifi (failed) and cellular (stayed up) network infrastructure. We don’t use the cellular service often, but when it’s needed it provides a reasonable and reliable backup for our other networking infrastructure.

Since the iPad was charged and already in use, it was a simple launch of a browser session to enable Vend and we were good to go. The one compromise (other than lack of lights) we made was in writing receipts by hand for those customers uncomfortable with an email / SMS receipt.

We hope we don’t have to move to this kind of operation frequently, but it was comforting to know that we were resilient when the need arose. Thanks to Vend, Square, Apple, and AT&T for making that possible.

And also a big thanks to the local Fire Department and PGE for coming out to address the danger and get the situation fixed. We appreciate your hard work!

risk management with vend

Oddyssea, located in Half Moon Bay, California, is an interactive retail experience dedicated to exploring, creating and discovering art, nature, and science. Customers don’t just buy things at Oddyssea. They learn things, too!

About Tara Benedict

A former retailer (and unabashed nerd) who daydreamed about integrated POS software, Tara now delightedly recruits, promotes, and enables Vend's wonderful channel of add-ons and partners. An ardent sharer of Vend news and events, connect with Tara on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ and never miss an opportunity to meet up with the affable Vend team.